13 for 2013: The Report Card

With the New Year welcoming us with arms wide open, I thought it best be time to review the thirteen aspirations, dreams and hopes I had compiled for the year of 2013. Although last year presented itself in ways very different to those we had originally anticipated, particularly with my unexpected and hasty return to work, we soon found a flow, a busy but gentle rhythm by which to live our days. This space here, regrettably, became more and more neglected as weeks rolled into months - with the move to our new home, the growing of a precious little bundle, and the pace that life seemed to develop as the school-year wore on, taking time and precedence over a whole lot else. Despite dropping by to share our baby-wearing days as a contributor for The Sling Diaries, Volume 3 and documenting Sage's weekly portraits through The 52 Project, my journallings here unfortunately became few and far between.

1. visit our local farmer's market each fortnight to purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables {PASS-ish}

Each week, we strive to buy our produce from markets and farmers in our local area. We are so lucky to live in a place where nutritious, fresh food is in absolute abundant supply, and roadside stalls filled with homegrown and homemade delights are dotted along the roads we frequent each day. Of course there are times when convenience reigns and gathering some supplies during a quick trip to the supermarket is an unavoidable necessity, but supporting our local growers and knowing exactly where our food has come from, is a feeling too good to neglect for long. {See the full farmer's market post here}.

2. build a sand pit in our backyard {PASS x2}

At both our old home and new little abode we have created sandpits {and a mud pit} in our yard for Sage to explore. The benefits of sand play {and sensory play in general} are immense and vast during a child's early development as they dig, build, sift, pour, problem solve, experiment and imagine. This year I'm looking forward to writing a little series of posts based on children learning through play experiences {for more inspiration on play environments and education, I adore Inspiring Spaces for Young ChildrenDesigns for Living and LearningNatural PlayscapesLearning Together with Young Children and Beautiful Stuff}.

3. create a visual diary using my filed away magazine cut-outs {FAIL}

I have the journal, I have a ridiculously huge pile of magazine tears {after years and years worth of collecting} - they just haven't quite made it together - yet!

4. buy a completely fabulous doona cover {FAIL}

Throughout the year I scoured sites and stores, both near and far, on the hunt for perfect bed linen. Being a huge fan of neutral hues and crisp whites, I was tempted by this sweet set, I loved this site's entire range and I have always coveted a piece from this collection, however, I'm yet to find "the one"... so I'll wait. {See snippets of our master bedroom here}.

5. recognise and appreciate the beauty in simplicity {PASS}
Beauty lay waiting... silently anticipating the slowing of my hurried feet,
                                                                         the calming of my meticulous fingers,
                                                                         the clarity of my crowded mind.

Biding its time, beauty graciously surrendered to the bustle at the fore
and with a dignified smile, she rested, knowing that in time, her true magnitude would be unveiled...

unveiled with your unveiling.

Upon your dawning my eyes were awakened. Subtlety gave way to luminosity and the world's vast canvas revealed more colour and light and splendour than I could have ever dreamed. I found beauty in every crevice, each expanse; its allure pure and captivating.

With you, came a beauty-filled life.
{A letter to Sage as my first entry to The Sling Diaries

I cannot pinpoint what it was about becoming a mother, but it was as though my eyes were suddenly opened the beauty of the world - a beauty I had never before truly recognised. Nothing about the world was different, I simply saw simplicity in a different way. 

Worried that this may pass with time, as the monotony and routines of life took hold, I made it one of my intentions for the year - to continue searching for and appreciating the wonder in the most simple. I needn't have worried, as now, through the lens of my camera, I intuitively notice simplistic beauty in the unexpected. Those minuscule details which, so often, are the taken-for-granted facets of life, become the extraordinary. Be it drying bean pods clinging to life in my grandparent's garden {above}, the way Sage's curls glow in the haze of afternoon light or the tiny footprints trailing Rudi's bounding body along an endless stretch of sand - its all part life's story, one that deserves to be recognised, appreciated and told.{Read more about my view of the world here}.

6. increase my understanding of Reggio, Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies {PASS-ish}

With some similarities and also many vast differences, I quickly realised that at the heart of each notion - be it Reggio, Steiner or Montessori - is providing an environment whereby the development of the 'whole child' is at the fore. Although, as parents, we have chosen not to abide by one particular philosophy exclusively and instead implement our preferred elements of all three, we began incorporating some features typical of the Montessori approach into our daily lives last year, to facilitate Sage's growing independence and ever-increasing capabilities. Of the three, my comprehension and understanding of the Steiner approach is still lacking; something I hope to improve over this coming year. {See more on our parenting approach here}.

7. discover a more user-friendly method of storing our herbs and spices {PASS}

I'm still madly in love with our new pantry system! {See the full overhaul here}.

8. bathe in the glow of candle light each evening {FAIL}

Of all of my thirteen goals, this is definitely the one I didn't even come close to achieving - and yet in reality, it was probably the most simple! Despite having candles scattered throughout our home, they often remain unlit. This year, as we gather for our evening meal, I'm hoping to instill a little ritual whereby we light a candle placed at the table before we begin eating, and Sage can blow it out once our bellies are full. {I adore the soft scent of natural Tasmanian beeswax candles, to nourish and cleanse, purchased from here}.

9. grow a beautiful flower garden {FAIL}

I had many patches at our old home prepared and ready to plant out with blossoming, vibrant colour, however our move came before they were ever filled. Luckily our new cottage has masses of potential for flowering beds and already came complete with sweet, white roses, soft, pink gladioli, lush jasmine and ivy vines, flowing cherry blossoms and many others I'm yet to identify {green thumb, I am not!} When we eventually create a cubby/fort area for Sage {I'm dreaming of something similar to this or this}, we will also include a whimsical space nearby filled with greenery and blooms to captivate, explore and inspire.

10. cherish quiet moments before bedtime to read {and breathe} {FAIL}

My mound of 'to-read' books and magazines only became larger as 2013 evolved, as I found it impossible to indulge in quiet moments of me-time whilst in the throes of busyness, breast feeding and exhaustion. Any obtainable spare second would be spent pampering myself with extravagant luxuries such as showering and cutting my toenails, rather than becoming lost amongst the magical pages of the written word. Perhaps this intention was a little too idealistic given our current stage of life...
During the nights when my thoughts and worries become too overwhelming for my mind to bear, I lay in the darkness and remind myself of this post - "I'm breathing in 27... I'm breathing out 27, I'm breathing in 26... I'm breathing out 26." until reaching '0' - and also this post - mentally repeating "let" as I slowly inhale and "go" as I slowly exhale. These simple techniques were often enough to relax my body and my mind to drift away into a world of sleep, if only for a few, broken hours.

11. include more wholefoods in our daily diets {PASS}

The wholefood journey is one whereby an end destination is never really reached - a continual, winding path with new insights and understandings to be uncovered at each and every turn. We are most certainly in the very infancy of our own wholefood adventure, however, throughout the year we implemented small, subtle changes to the ways in which we prepare our food and subsequently the foods in which we consume. Coconut oil replaced all others {except for the occasional dash of olive}, brown rice {although frustratingly longer to cook} took the place of white, lentils and chickpeas were frequent additions to our weekly meals and we consumed more fresh and raw plant-based produce than ever before. Creating and tending to our own vegetable patch provided nourishment for both our bodies and our souls, and despite only rippling the surface of our wholefood potential, our mindfulness improves day-by-day. {I adore recipes from this book and this website for us, this book and this book for Sage and this beautiful friend is a constant source of kitchen inspiration}.

12. source handmade delights when gifting others {PASS-ish}

Sometime during the year, the wheels fell off, after a whole-hearted attempt at keeping this intention afloat! I began with organised efficiency, planning and ordering gifts weeks in advance - I ended in disorganised chaos, quick dashes to local gift stores, the result. {Above image courtesy of The Happy Nest - some sweet name garlands I ordered for some even sweeter little girls' birthdays}.

13. continue collecting precious pieces of children's vintage clothing - for a future dream {PASS}

Once a completely foreign world to me, op shops and thrift stores are now realms so utterly inviting and hard to resist. The thrill of the unexpected and the unknown is enthralling. Sage has quite the vintage collection now, the majority acquired for under five dollars a piece {with some as little as fifty cents}. Most she has worn, some she hasn't. Either way, each one lays neatly folded in a now overflowing box, ready and waiting.   For what?   I'm not quite sure just yet. {See more of Sage's mini vintage wears here and our little man's burgeoning collection here}.

Despite these being my hopes for 2013, so many of them will carry through this coming year, and perhaps even beyond, until they simply become routines and rhythms which no longer require conscious thought. The days of twenty-fourteen promise to be an incredibly exciting {and daunting} journey, as namely, in a few weeks time, a new little person will enter our lives and our hearts {and yet feel as though they've always belonged there, I'm sure}. I truly hope to nurture this space and once again, document our days more frequently. Words may be brief, but images abundant.

I do hope you'll join me for the ride!


1 comment:

Your comments brighten my day, thank you!